The Lenoir County Board of Education has begun the process of filling its vacant District 3 seat by soliciting letters of interest from eligible Lenoir County residents.
The vacancy was created by the resignation of Jon Sargeant, who left in the middle of his second four-year term to accept an appointment as a district court judge in the 8th Judicial District. Sargeant formally resigned Tuesday about an hour before he was sworn in as a judge, but had informed the board of his intent at its July 2 meeting, when he gave up his position as school board chair.
The person appointed to fill the vacancy will serve until the school board election in November 2020. Sargeant’s resignation came too late for the contest to be included on the ballot for this November’s election.
“I look forward to the process of selecting a new board of education member from District 3. I am expecting several qualified candidates to come forward to apply for the open seat,” Keith King, board of education chair, said. “The new member should be ready to continue the progress our school system has made in recent years and contribute to the LCPS team.”
To be eligible for consideration, the prospective appointee must be at least 21 years old, qualified to vote in North Carolina, a resident of District 3 for at least 30 days and a registered Democrat for at least 90 days. (The formal explanation of the appointment process prepared by LCPS is here.)
District 3 encompasses the 4th and 9th precincts of northwest Kinston as well as the Vance and Institute precincts to their north. Sargeant served as a Democrat on the partisan seven-member board.
Getting considered is a two-step process for interested individuals. First, they must submit a letter of interest to the school board, postmarked no later than Friday, Aug. 10.
The letter should provide contact information, should affirm the individual’s qualifications for the office and should include specific reasons why he or she should be considered for the office, including appropriate background or biographical information.
It should be addressed to the Office of the Superintendent, Lenoir County Public Schools, PO Box 729, Kinston, NC 28502-0729.
At the school board’s Sept. 4 meeting, individuals who have submitted letters of interest and who meet eligibility requirements will each be given five minutes to make a presentation to board members in public session. Board board members will have the opportunity to nominate a candidate from that group and vote on that nomination by secret ballot. The process will continue until a nominee is approved.